It hasn’t been an easy ride for basketball fans in Canada the past couple of days. The country has been listening constantly to the radio, refreshing Twitter and checking the news for anything, literally anything, that might suggest Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard will re-sign for Toronto and stay in Canada. However, as of yet, there has not been a peep from the man himself. Nonetheless, the country is still celebrating the "4th of Kawhi" on Thursday.
While Canadians have not been holding back with the Kawhi-love for the last week or so, the country is getting pretty desperate for a decision. ‘Kawhi Watch’ has been trending on Twitter across Canada and the US for days, as basketball fans across the world wait not so patiently for any signs of news from Leonard. However, according to some reports, that day could be today.
From the crack of dawn on Thursday morning, ‘Happy 4th of Kawhi’ was trending in both Canada and the US, with several Canadians agreeing that if Kawhi was to announce he was staying in Canada today, on July 4, America’s Independence Day, it would be a pretty big smack in the face for American fans. That said, Canadians don’t seem to feel too bad about it…
One Canadian tweeted, “When Kawhi Leonard announces his resigning with the Raptors tomorrow.... we'll declare a new national holiday, the 4th of Kawhi in Canada! Happy Independence Day!” Another added, “Kawhi saying he will stay with the Raptors in Canada ON the 4th of the July is just an ultimate power move.”
While there is still no official news on Kawhi’s plans for next season, the internet is enjoying the opportunity to scrutinize Kawhi’s every move in hopes of working out what he will do next. One Twitter user noted that Kawhi’s decision to spend Canada Day in LA and the 4th of July in Toronto was “low key one of the biggest power moves on his part.”
As it stands, it is the Lakers, the Clippers and, of course, the Raptors that Kawhi is torn between. While both the Lakers and the Clippers give Kawhi the opportunity to play for his home state, the Raptors are able to offer Kawhi a lucrative, maximum five-year deal, worth around $190 million. Oh, and the opportunity to remain a Canadian national treasure, of course.
Reports have suggested that Leonard has already met with all three potential teams now and also had meetings with Drake. All that is left to do is wait for the official announcement. Kawhi has remained characteristically low-key on the matter, not giving fans even a glimmer of what his personal preference would be for the 2020 season.
That said, some fans believe that the fact Kawhi decided to meet with the Toronto Raptors last has significance. One basketball fan tweeted "I honestly think the Raptors getting the last meeting means more than people realize. It’s [gonna] be too hard for Kawhi to say no to them I think".
An official decision is expected to be announced at some point on Thursday. Whatever the final outcome may be, it’s going to be a pretty awesome ‘4th of Kawhi’ for basketball fans somewhere!